In a recent post I wrote about the ministry of Tiffany Darling and the theme of adoption. Being adopted is more than just being placed into a family. It is what enables a new family member to be considered a full adult heir. And that certainly applies to our adoption as an heir of God.
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Galatians 4:5-7 tells us, "in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
Here's a fictional story I created that I hope will make adoption in the family of God a little more real.
Imagine that you're an orphan in a children's home, desperately wanting to be adopted. People come and go, but no one seems interested in you. Your heart is crushed. Your dreams are filled with images of being part of a wonderful, loving family who accepts you as you are.
One miraculous day a family arrives, and they point to you. "We want that special child." You look behind you, knowing they must be pointing to someone else. but there's no one behind you. "They're pointing to me! They want me!"
You cry with gratitude as the papers are signed and notarized. You climb into the car with your new family. They talk to you and smile at you. Your heart is bursting with joy. It's finally happened. You belong!
When you arrive at your new home, you're astonished at how large it is. They give you a tour of the rooms, and you're amazed at the immensity and the abundance of every convenience. Finally, they show you your room. Incredible. "A room to myself?" you ask. They confirm it's true.
That night as you lay in bed surrounded by warmth, both physically and emotionally, you can't believe your good fortune. But suddenly, you feel a sense of horror creep into your soul. "I don't deserve all this. I shouldn't be lying here so comfortably. I'm just adopted. Only the 'real children' should be taking advantage of all this."
With a sense of sadness, you climb down out of bed, make your way out of your room, out of the house, and out into the yard. Wandering around, you find the doghouse and crawl in to lie beside the family pet. Shivering from the cold, you finally fall asleep, tears dropping onto the dirt floor.
The next morning voices awaken you. The mother's voice shouts from a window. "Have you found her yet? She's not in the house."
From out in the yard, the father's voice replies, "No. I can't find her out here either. Keep looking. I hope she hasn't gotten lost."
You rub your eyes as the dog wags his tail and scoots out of the doghouse. You follow him and almost bump into the father's legs. Looking up, you see his startled look.
"What in the world are you doing here? Did you sleep in there?"
Before you can answer, he sweeps you up into the air, wraps his strong, warm arms around you and carries you into the house. "Oh, you must be so cold. Let's get you bundled up."
Coming into the kitchen, you see the mother's face stare in shock.
Once everyone has sat down in the living room, you sit on the father's lap, staring at their concerned faces. The father gently asks, "Now, what is this all about? Why didn't you sleep in your room?"
At first you don't know how to form the words. But after a slight pause you say, "I can't sleep in that room."
"Why not?" the father gently asks. "Is there something wrong with it? Is there something else you need?"
"Oh, no. It's because I don't deserve anything so nice."
"Why do you think that? You know you've become a part of our family. Everything here is yours as well as ours."
"No, it's not. I'm just adopted. I don't deserve the same as your real children. It's just enough to know that you've adopted me. I don't need to have anything else."
A smile spreads over the father's and mother's faces. "Oh, we understand now. You think your adoption just got you into our family. You can't believe that you can now appropriate everything for yourself."
Your questioning look makes him stop. "What's appropri---?"
The father grins. "That a big word to say 'to use' or 'call your own.' in other words, you didn't think you became our daughter, only our child. Honey, the truth is, not only did you join our family, but also you became entitled to everything that the rest of our sons and daughters enjoy. You are our real daughter."
With tears streaming down your cheeks, you jump out of the father's lap and twirl around in the center of the room. "All this is mine too. I'm your daughter. I can live like one of you!"
You run back to your father and throw your arms around this neck. "Thank you for adopting me! Thank you for giving me everything your other children enjoy!"
Do you live like you are an "entitled" and "empowered" daughter/son of the King? You are adopted and a full child. Live like it!
In what way do we "live in the doghouse" instead of living in our "room"?